Virgin Media is to rollout its superfast fibre broadband services to schools across the UK in a new £1 billion agreement.
The announcement was made by London Grid for Learning (LGfL), a consortium of local authorities and schools, which has unveiled TRUSTnet - a package of digital services and content powered by Virgin Media Business that will enable 23,500 schools across Britain to access the latest technology.
Through the bundling of ICT infrastructure, services and content into one package, TRUSTnet says that UK schools will save up to £840 million over the next three years.
Under the terms of the new contract, which is set to run until 2028 and have a total value in excess of £1 billion, schools will be given access to ultra-high-speed broadband, school-specific security systems and a wealth of resources to "supercharge" the learning environment, whether this is collecting homework via the cloud or hosting parents' days via video conference.
It will also allow schools to replace outdated infrastructure with the most advanced voice and internet technology available, enabling staff and pupils to bring their own devices, work remotely and receive content tailored to their individual needs.
It follows a similar partnership between the two organisations that was successfully rolled out across London, saving participating schools an estimated £100 million over the last three years and providing more than a million students across the capital with access to leading edge content and technology.
Mario DiMascio, Executive Director at Virgin Media Business, explained that today's children are growing up in a "completely connected world" and so schools must be "immersed" in digital technology to prepare them for life beyond the classroom.
He added: "As the UK leads the information revolution, it is this kind of investment in the next generation that will determine our future.
"We already have a bigger digital economy than any other developed nation, but we must continue to lead the way in education technology if we’re to sustain this powerful competitive advantage in the global marketplace."